Heathers are all grown up, and other weekend gigcidents
Early enough into Heathers’ headline gig at the Academy on Saturday night, Ellie Macnamara remarked that she and her sister Louise genuinely thought the crowd would be about two rows deep, leaving them enough room to breakdance on the venue floor, …
Early enough into Heathers’ headline gig at the Academy on Saturday night, Ellie Macnamara remarked that she and her sister Louise genuinely thought the crowd would be about two rows deep, leaving them enough room to breakdance on the venue floor, and nowhere near the capacity audience that bailed into the big room on Middle Abbey Street. Such honest self-deprecation has been part of Heathers’ fabric for quite some time. But surely at that moment, looking out at the crowd of a remarkably diverse group of people (birds waving glow-sticks, students, indie heads, pop-lovers, fans who’d been there from the get go, industry folk calmly sipping pints), their confidence must have soared. While there has been a very obvious shift in their set up and sound from just a twosome singing stripped down tunes, to a beefier and more whole pop vehicle with an anonymous drummer and guitarist in tow, it would do them no harm to go further still with a bigger set up, more musicians on hand to give the live show that feeling of a full cohesive band, yet never forgetting that the twins are very much at the head of the table – the same sort of set up that is de rigueur for progressive pop acts in a live context from Ellie Goulding to Marina, Tinie to Example. Going the whole hog (and also upping the sound levels, which needed a bit of a boost in the Academy) could transform Heathers into something that next time will be looking out at an even wider sea of faces.
It was a special night for Heathers, the culmination of hard work and considered, clever and quite wonderful songwriting. For those who were watching them play live for the first time, the strength of their voices was probably a revelation. Even for those who had seen them umpteen times, it’s still something that’s pretty breathtaking. A while ago I wrote this piece in The Ticket tracking the band’s history. And if you haven’t already bought the brilliant, sparkling second album ‘Kingdom’, you can do so here.
The previous night, a queue stretched down Leeson Street for Vito De Luca aka Aeroplane. You can listen to his latest (August) mix here.
Later on Saturday night, Hidden Agenda’s new weekly residency at the Button Factory got off to a slow enough but eventually packed start with Telepathe and Girl Unit. Having missed their initial flight to Dublin from London, Telepathe made it to Temple Bar, playing a truck load of new material, but what really shone was their finest track, ‘So Fine’. Check out Hidden Agenda’s upcoming events here.